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Wolves announce 2019-20 schedule

The defending Western Conference champion Chicago Wolves unveiled their 2019-20 American Hockey League schedule Wednesday. The 76-game slate features 17 Saturday night and 10 Sunday afternoon games at Allstate Arena as head coach Rocky Thompson’s squad shoots for the franchise’s fifth league championship.

Chicago launches its bid for an AHL-record fourth consecutive division title on Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Grand Rapids Griffins come to town. This marks just the ninth time in the Wolves’ 26 seasons they have opened at home. Fans attending the 7 p.m. game receive a replica 2018-19 Western Conference Champions banner, courtesy of Jewel-Osco.

“After our team earned the chance to host Calder Cup Finals games last season, we’re more determined than ever to play in June and win the Cup,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young.

Last year, the Wolves became just the eighth team in the AHL’s 83-year history to capture a third consecutive division crown — then rode that momentum all the way to the 2019 Calder Cup Finals.

Chicago goes for its fourth straight Central Division banner against a schedule filled with games against divisional foes. Two traditional rivals — the Rockford IceHogs and Milwaukee Admirals — visit Allstate Arena six times apiece. The IceHogs’ first appearance occurs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, while the Admirals come to town for the first time at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.

The AHL’s division alignment remains the same as last year, which means the Wolves will battle Grand Rapids, Iowa, Manitoba, Milwaukee, Rockford, San Antonio and Texas for the four available Central Division slots in the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs.

For the 19th year in a row, the Wolves plan to broadcast the majority of their games on local TV. Broadcast specifics will be announced in the weeks leading up to the opener.